Haslam, Alexander And Corker Showcase South As Driving Force In Automotive Industry

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Governor Bill Haslam will deliver the keynote address to attendees of the Southern Automotive Conference when leading manufacturing and supply executives gather for the annual meeting in Chattanooga, Oct. 11-12.

The conference will bring together executives from all sectors of the industry including original equipment manufacturers, suppliers, service providers and policy makers. Attendees will explore topics including workforce development, integrating sustainability, best management practices, and engaging and retaining employees.

This year’s conference theme is "The Driving Force: People, Place, Progress." By developing cutting-edge technology, setting the standard for the next generation of automotive assembly and creating a favorable business environment, the South has become the driving force for the United States automotive industry.

“The South has tremendous momentum in the automotive manufacturing sector and the future appears very bright,” said Tom Brewer, president of Tennessee Automotive Manufacturing Association (TAMA), which hosts this year’s event. “A leading reason for strong investment and employment growth is the leadership of Governor Haslam and others Governors in the South who have developed policies to attract and support the industry.”

Highlights of the 2012 Southern Automotive Conference Include:

United States Senator Lamar Alexander, Dennis Cuneo of Fisher & Phillips and Newell Baker of Northfolk Southern will participate in a panel forum that focuses on the South’s emergence over the past quarter century as an automotive industry leader. Tom Griscom, former editor and publisher of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, will moderate the session.

Launch of the Tennessee Automotive Manufacturing Hall of Fame to recognize individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to Tennessee’s automotive industry, one of the state’s largest employers. The launch of the Hall of Fame is in conjunction with TAMA’s 25th anniversary as an organization.

Tennessee’s original equipment manufacturers (OEM) are set to share recent major and minor launches The OEM showcase panel, scheduled for Friday, Oct. 12, will feature Frank Fischer, CEO and Chairman at Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations; Bill May, Plant Manager at General Motors Spring Hill and Donald Stoegbauer, Director at Nissan North America. This panel will feature introductory remarks by Senator Corker.

A premier event at this year’s conference will be a first-of-its kind Innovation Forum sponsored by LaunchTN, a new public-private initiative to foster entrepreneurship and innovation. The forum brings together automotive research and development executives and experts for discussions on manufacturing and automotive technology innovation.

Jay Williams, executive director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Recovery for the Automotive Communities and Workers will reflect on his experiences in the Friday lunch address and Kim Korth of IRN, Inc. will speak directly following the governor on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Conference sessions will also explore leading automotive industry topics including:

·         Automotive Innovation featuring Volkswagen, GM and Nissan

·         Integrating Sustainability into Manufacturing Performance - a case study on GM’s Spring Hill Plant

·         The supplier-OEM relationship – a roundtable of Tennessee suppliers with Magneti Marelli, Calsonic Kansei and ABC Group Fuel Systems

·         Capacity Management: Managing Risk and Matching Supply with Demand

For a complete schedule visit TennAuto.org/2012SAC.

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and Volkswagen Group of America are presenting sponsors of the conference. The 2012 Southern Automotive Conference is hosted by the Tennessee Automotive Manufacturer’s Association (TAMA).

The Southern Automotive Conference is an annual meeting of automotive manufacturers and suppliers that rotates between Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi. In 2012, TAMA hosts the conference in partnership with The Mississippi Automotive Manufacturer’s Association and the Alabama Automotive Manufacturer’s Association. To find out more about the conference please visit TennAuto.org/2012SAC.

TAMA started in 1987 in response to Tennessee's rapidly growing automotive manufacturing industry. The organization provides unique networking and educational opportunities through its membership meetings. TAMA's diverse membership includes OEMs (General Motors, Nissan and Volkswagen); Tier 1, 2, and 3 suppliers; government agencies; and professional services organizations that have specialized expertise in the automotive industry. Find out more about TAMA or become a member at TennAuto.org. 

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